BEAUTY MARK: In an exploration of self-love, self-care and identity, footwear brand Melissa has tapped the visual artist Juno Calypso and the design duo Antoine Cake and Hélène Jeudy from Geriko to create an immersive installation at the brand’s Covent Garden flagship store in London, Galeria Melissa.
The display will run until April, and is part of Melissa’s ongoing collaborations with artists
around the world.
Geriko’s animated video immediately transports the visitor into a sci-fi-horror rendering of a beauty salon. “Our concept for this video was to achieve a collision between the universes of Juno Calypso and Geriko through the evocation of bodily rituals and the quest for eternal beauty,” said the Geriko designers.
Downstairs in The Salon, Calypso’s vision comes to life: A beauty room flanked by models and mannequins dressed in clinical white robes, their identity hidden behind plastic masks. The room itself is awash in fluorescent red lighting, signifying the flipside of beauty and the dangers of chasing perfection.
The masks, which were sourced from the Internet, feature a gimmicky LED accoutrement. “I love the science fiction aspect of beauty and how there are new contraptions every year. The masks look amazing, even though they don’t do anything, but people love it, so people buy it,” said Calypso.
Calypso’s installation riffs on Melissa’s spring 2018 collection, which is called Mapping. “I was going to all of these crazy places by myself around the world and I wanted to bring one here. Everyone has been to a place like this in their life, a treatment room, a massage parlor and they all have that specific aesthetic to it. This is my way of bringing that personal experience to the public,” the artist said.
As part of its installation, Calypso chose to work with one of Melissa’s latest creations, the Mar wedge in pink, whose name comes from the Brazilian word for sea. The open-toe shoe speaks directly to the salon experience, where spa-goers are often given toe-baring footwear upon arrival.
“Juno is working with identity in questioning what it means and self-care,” a Melissa spokesperson said. “Every brand wants to use ‘self-care’, and you can feel cynical about it but it’s also good that it’s become a mainstream term now. People used to be embarrassed to speak about self-love, so it’s good and bad,” Calypso added.
– Fiona Ma